MIKE BALDASSARI is a Tony and two-time Emmy nominated Lighting Designer whose work has been seen in more than twenty-five countries.
In the film world, he designed the Theatrical Lighting for Rob Marshall’s movie musical NINE, as well as ROCK OF AGES starring Tom Cruise. Other film projects include the upcoming THE KITCHEN (Melissa McCarthy, 2019) as well as GHOSTBUSTERS (2016), JOYFUL NOISE (Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah), SEX AND THE CITY 2 and GOING THE DISTANCE. Also for Rob Marshall (and Sam Mendes) he co-designed the Broadway hit revival of CABARET, which ran for 6 years at Studio 54, earning him Tony and Drama Desk Award Nominations and winning the Entertainment Design Award. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his lighting of U2’s Top of The Rock performance for the premiere of THE TONIGHT SHOW and for his Lighting Direction of GARTH BROOKS LIVE FROM CENTRAL PARK. Mike also collaborated on the concert lighting with director Jonathan Demme for the film NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW.
The iconic production of Mendes/Marshalls’ CABARET was again presented at the legendary Studio 54 on Broadway in 2014. Other Broadway highlights include the recent CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, FIRST DATE, and HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, featuring the music of Tupac Shakur. Off-Broadway credits include: AS YOU LIKE IT directed by John Doyle, BARE, JEWTOPIA, SAVION GLOVER DOWNTOWN, and for City Center’s Encore Series; TENDERLOIN directed by Walter Bobbie. Also on Broadway (and DVD), AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LAUGH.
Around the globe, he and Set Designer David Gallo created an all-new production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, which had thirteen separate companies throughout Europe, in seven languages. Mike designed multiple year tours of BLAST II for Japan and adapted CABARET for a run at Paris’ legendary Folies Bergere.
This year, Mike has designed the world premieres of SOUL: The STAX MUSICAL and BEATSVILLE written by Glenn Slater. Other world premières include Tennessee William’s ONE ARM, adapted and directed by Moisés Kaufman for Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Ken Davenport’s SOMEWHERE IN TIME in Portland,“13” at The Mark Taper Forum, and “NERDS://A Musical Software Satire” at The Philadelphia Theatre Company. Live-action family entertainment tours have included MADAGASCAR LIVE! for Dreamworks, PBS’ DITTY DOODLE WORKS, SUPER WHY, and KIDZ BOP, based on the multi-platinum selling CDs. YO GABBA GABBA LIVE!, a touring version of the ultra-hip TV show produced by Michael Cohl’s S2BN had several successful runs over the course of 6 years and won the 2010 Billboard Touring Award for Creative Content.
National tours include: Monty Python’s SPAM-A-LOT, RAGTIME, RING OF FIRE; The Music of Johnny Cash, MAN OF La MANCHA, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, FAME, SPIDER-MAN LIVE!, GREASE, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, Yeston’s PHANTOM, SAVION GLOVER –FOOTNOTES, THE KING & I, DIAL "M" FOR MURDER, and TOMMY TUNE :MOONLIGHTING.
Other television designs include: Multiple episodes of Documentary Now! with Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, as well as Netflix / Comedy Central specials for: Ray Romano, Joe Rogan, Dana Carvey, John Mulaney, and Bridget Everett. Concert broadcasts include: The (RED) Concert/Broadcast from Times Square with U2, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, Carrie Underwood and Chris Martin. Many pre-tapes for LATE NIGHT w/SETH MEYERS and for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (including some from the Digital Shorts series). For the Amex Unstaged Concert Series he designed MARY J. BLIGE LIVE FROM CLUB NOKIA ,and SAM SMITH at The Apollo . Mike was honored to work with the Armed Services Network, designing TIM McGRAW: LIVE FROM THE HOMEFRONT, which was broadcast around the globe to all of the US Military bases and ships. Other television designs include: MTV’s SPANKIN’ NEW MUSIC, VH-1's EIGHT-TRACK FLASHBACK, and the CBS mini-series SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL. In 2000 he was the Lighting Consultant to Vice President Al Gore for the Presidential Debates.
In the music arena, he’s designed the spectacular finales for Phish’s New Year’s Eve shows at Madison Square Garden since 2013. He was the Production Designer for ALICE IN CHAINS’ 2010 BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE tour as well as their reunion tour in 2006 and tour with Velvet Revolver in 2007. He co-designed Neil Young’s CHROME DREAMS II tour worldwide and was the Lighting Director for Neil Young’s HARVEST MOON Tour. Other musical acts Mike has worked with include: Jerry Cantrell, Mos Def, John Mellencamp, Jonathan Butler, the Boxer Rebellion and Kurt Bestor.
Yearly, he designs the multi-media Upfront for CBS Television, broadcast in Hi-Def from Carnegie Hall (featuring acts including The Who, Mariah Carey, LL Cool J and Faith Hill). Twice he completed the design and coordination of over a dozen simultaneous Multi-Media productions for SANOFI-AVENTIS in Las Vegas, including an arena performance by Sheryl Crow.
Some of Mike's creations can be found among Rosco’s Signature Series Gobo Collection. He also originated a custom color "Baldassari Blue" (R-381), which is now included in the Roscolux Gel Book. Some of the City Theatrical Catalog products that Mike had a hand in creating include the "Stacker Tophat" (for which Mike is listed on the Patent) and the "Broadway Music Stand Lite".
Mike has been inducted into the Parsippany Hills High School Hall of Fame for his work lighting Theatre, Film, Concerts and Television.
Mike's best production, along with his wife Arlene, is their daughter Sophia. They reside in Hoboken, New Jersey (you gotta problem with that?).